In today’s climate more than ever it is important to stay current on security threats and safeguards. While many threats exist, cyber crimes continue to grow. Threats continue to evolve daily but two primary threats remain relevant, phishing and malware.
- Phishing is the sending of deceptive emails that trick recipients into revealing confidential information by either asking for it directly or directing them to a fraudulent site which captures the information. These appear to be legitimate emails from online sources such as financial institutions, the IRS, FDIC, rewards programs, social networks or credit card companies – all entities that the user may have interacted with before. Deceptive emails target personal information, account numbers, social security numbers, user IDs and passwords, etc. It is important to note that American Community Bank & Trust will never ask you for your personal information, social security numbers, online IDs or account numbers via email.
“We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your account information.”
“During our annual auditing process of accounts, we could not verify your information. Please click here __________ to update and verify your information to preserve your account status.”
- Malware is a form of virus embedded in malicious software downloaded onto a computer. This software can monitor your online activity and stores your keystrokes to collect information for use by cyber-thieves. It can be unknowingly downloaded onto your computer and can sneak past your anti-virus software and be installed undetected.
Security Tips & Safeguards:
- Conduct online banking on secure computers only – avoid public computers at internet cafes, public libraries…
- Only use websites where personal information is accessed using multiple level security (Called MFA or Tokens)
- Use ‘strong’ passwords patterns that contain both upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
- Verify use of a secure session (https and padlock in browser) in the browser for all online banking activities
- If you initiate wire or ACH transfers, establish dual controls, set limits per person and per transaction
- To detect phishing, be on the lookout for emails from a new sender or address, suspicious links and immediate calls to action
- To detect malware, be on the lookout for new pop-up messages that appear when signing on
- Be suspicious of sign on pages that look different than they did in the past or messages directing you to click on another link while signing on.
- Be suspicious if, when signing on to your accounts online you receive an error message indicating you are not able to sign on at this time or asking you to return to the site at a later time, immediately stop entering credentials and contact ACBT.
- Immediately notify your financial institution of any suspicious transactions on your account, particularly relating to wire transfers or ACH transactions.
- Review banking transactions daily and credit card transaction as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
- Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receives, regardless of who sent them. These files can contain viruses or other software that can weaken your computer’s security.